HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

….FULL ARTICLE

WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

….FULL ARTICLE

….FULL ARTICLE

Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from Living Well 60 + Magazine

MORE ARTICLES

Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

MORE ARTICLES

CONTACT INFORMATION

© Living Well 60+ Magazine - All rights reserved | Design by PurplePatch Innovations

MORE FROM ROCKPOINT PUBLISHING

LIVING WELL 60+ MAGAZINE

HOME | FEATURE ARTICLES | COLUMN ARTICLES | DIGITAL ISSUES | CALENDAR | DIRECTORY | ABOUT | CONTACT

subscribe to living Well 60+

trigger also applies if the beneficiary is a disabled surviving spouse.) If none of the beneficiaries of the estate are special needs, the trigger language is not applied. Without the Special Needs language in the will, the funds automatically get distributed to the beneficiaries. Having the Special Needs language in the will and not needing it is much more desirable than needing the language and not having it.


In developing a plan, it is important to work with an attorney experienced in special needs planning and who is familiar with the governmental agencies providing the benefits. A clear understanding of how a person’s income and assets affects his or her SSI and Medicaid benefits is crucial to prevent the disruption or termination of benefits.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

If Lily develops the ability to understand her finances and can provide for her own health-care needs, she may be able to appoint a power of attorney when she turns 18. This would allow whoever she appoints, typically her parents, to assist her with her finances, if necessary, and be involved in her medical care when needed. If Lily does not develop an understanding of finances, health care, or have the ability to care for herself, she would lack the capacity to appoint a power of attorney. She will, however, still need assistance in these areas. Someone, typically a parent, would petition the court to be appointed Lily’s guardian in order to legally be allowed to make decisions for her.


Lily’s parents are also planning for their other children. While none of them currently have any medical issues, there is no way to predict the future. This is where their Last Will and Testament comes into play. As most couples do, their wills list each other as the primary beneficiary of their estate. All the children are listed as the secondary beneficiaries if something happens to both parents. In order to protect the interests of all the children, they have listed several other family members as guardians for the children. Additionally, their wills have Special Needs Trust trigger language in them. This means the will directs (“triggers”) the disabled beneficiary’s inherited funds to a Special Needs Trust if he or she qualifies for SSI or Medicaid at the time of the inheritance. (This

KATIE E. FINNELL

Katie received her J.D. from Northern Kentucky University,  a Legal Masters (LL.M.) in Estate Planning and ElderLaw from Western New England University and joined Bluegrass ElderLaw after several years as a sole practitioner.

more articles by katie e. finnell

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.


Special Needs Planning typically involves creating a Special Needs Trust or designating the ability to create a Special Needs Trust in the future (see below). These trusts are established by placing funds or other assets under the control of a trustee who will use the funds for the benefit of the special needs individual without disqualifying the person from government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Life insurance can be used to fund or add to the trust in the future. It is extremely important that the language in the trust is written correctly to comply with the restrictions and requirements set forth by the law. It is also important to remember the funds in the Special Needs Trust are to supplement, not supplant, the government benefits. These funds are strictly used to provide financial assistance for any care above and beyond what the government provides.


Lily is very young, but her parents and I have already had a conversation about what her care might look like in the future.